Black & White is possibly the classiest color palette you can go with. It can be both cheerful and edgy. White brings an airiness while black brings the drama. I don’t think it’s necessarily an easy palette to pull off though. For starters you have to choose what balance of light and dark you want. For example the above kitchen went heavy on white, and while I think it’s just lovey, it does lean towards being a bit too hospital-room and is borderline blinding. It’s saving feature is all the wonderful accessories that add texture and personality.
This kitchen also uses a lot of white but it seems to be a softer white. It is astonishing just how many “whites” there are ranging from the purest white to hues with cool blue tints to creamier whites with yellow influence. I think generally I prefer a white that isn’t a pure white, although pure white usually works great on molding. Isn’t this kitchen pretty much a dream? Brass hardware, easy foliage, neat open storage… sigh.
This kitchen uses black and white but it tones down the high contrast by using a lot of gray as well. Gray is a popular neutral right now and probably the safest, easiest paint color to work with styles of today. I have a light gray in my half bathroom and I’m very pleased with it. I am itching to repaint my entryway and living room and as of now the plan is to go with a light-medium gray.
I used to think that it would be so boring to use only neutrals on walls or to not vary the wall color from room to room… I have learned much since then. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes color on the walls is just perfection, but it seems like for the average homeowner picking a wall color that will look good (and keep looking good for years) and that will also be easy to decorate with… well, it’s really hard. How many of you have painted with a beautiful color only to realize it looks so wrong up on the wall? *raises hand* This is why there are people out there who specialize specifically in selecting paint colors. It is a learned skill!
I digress. Ultimately, paint is relatively cheap and easy to change out, so don’t let my little monologue scare you away from trying color. One suggestion I have is to look into Farrow & Ball. It is a high-end paint company that, unlike so many paint manufacturers, only produces paint in a limited color palette. While it may seem nice to have access to a veritable rainbow of paint colors, I think it’s actually incredibly helpful that Farrow & Ball only has colors that actually look good on walls. Their website also has reviews on each color so you can read how things turned out for other people and really get to know a color before committing. Not to mention everyone just raves about the amazing quality of the paint. All of this does come at a price, as F&B is not cheap (and you may have to pay to have it shipped as they have limited stockists). I don’t plan to paint with F&B in my current condo because I don’t expect to live here more than a few years. But in my next house it’s an investment I intend to make! Here’s a shot of one of Farrow & Ball’s new colors that I’m obsessed with, Stiffkey Blue:
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